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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Belgium > Insolvency and restructuring > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and restructuring
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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The ‘top-tier practice’ at DLA Piper is commended for ‘always going that extra mile for clients’, with experienced group head Ilse Van de Mieropa market leader’. The team also includes ‘excellent lawyerChristian Van Buggenhout and the ‘great to work withJoris De Vos. Van de Mierop and Van Buggenhout are acting as trustees in the headline bankruptcy of major Belgian airline Sabena. Creditors and investors also regularly turn to the firm for assistance and other clients include Lone Star and Icici Bank.

NautaDutilh provides ‘an impressively high quality’ and, according to one client, ‘we always receive clear explanations, no matter how complex the case’. Stan Brijs is ‘very convincing in negotiations’ and co-heads the department alongside Sophie Jacmain; together they advised the Belgian McGregor and Gaastra retail entities on their restructuring via a court-supervised sale of their activities. The team also regularly acts for creditors and acquirers of distressed assets.

The ‘very experienced’ group at White & Case LLP has ‘strong expertise in cross-border files’ and a prominent creditor-side practice, although it acts for all stakeholders in insolvency cases. Group head Thierry Bosly and litigator Nathalie Colin recently represented Standard Chartered Bank in the insolvency proceedings of Exelco Group. Bosly, alongside Muriel Alhadeff, also acted for Natixis Factor in insolvency proceedings in multiple European jurisdictions.

Allen & Overy LLP’s multidisciplinary group is routinely engaged by creditors and debtors on in-court and out-of-court restructurings. Distressed M&A is also an active area. Filip Tanghe and Koen Van Den Broeck jointly head a team that counts ING Belgium, KBC Bank and BNP Paribas Fortis as clients.

Jan Vincent Lindemans’s group at Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick includes Roel Fransis, who has the ability to ‘effectively convey Belgian legal concepts to the uninitiated’. Fransis and Paul Vandepitte advised Agent Provocateur’s Belgian subsidiary on its bankruptcy filing. Hotel Berlaymont, Proximus and Mount Street Mortgage Servicing are also clients.

Linklaters’ cross-practice restructuring group is led by banking specialist Charles-Antoine Leunen and also includes litigator Stefaan Loosveld. The team acts for debtors and creditors on reorganisations and insolvency proceedings, but is particularly well known for representing financial institutions.

Knowledgeable and solution-oriented’, Stibbe is ‘a creative force’, according to clients. Paul Van der Putten heads a team that also includes Pieter Wouters, who is ‘at ease in the international field’; together they are advising the Belgian State on Optima Bank’s headline bankruptcy. In another high-profile matter, the team is advising the UK administrators of Nortel Networks on Belgian law-related insolvency issues.

Altius houses a robust restructuring and insolvency practice, which advises on bankruptcy filings, asset recovery, distressed M&A and insolvency-related litigation. In 2016, group co-head Alexander Hansebout and ‘very strong’ managing associate Bart Heynickx were appointed as liquidators of the Association of European Airlines. Carine Van Regenmortel co-heads the group.

Lawyers at Astrea are ‘modern, not too formal and very approachable’, with group head Louis Verstraeten singled out for ‘achieving fantastic results’. The team has a strong focus on representing business creditors, debtors and foreign insolvency administrators and clients include BHP Billiton Marketing, Bridgestone Belux and Schultze & Braun.

At CMS, the team has ‘a decisive, practical and business-like’ approach and the ability to ‘consider the continuity of the business at all times’. Practice head Jean-François Goffin recently advised Idempapers on its judicial reorganisation. On the creditor side, Goffin is advising Namur Invest on Promomed’s bankruptcy proceedings.

Loyens & Loeff’s ‘practical, innovative and dynamic’ practice acts for bondholders, lenders, investors, debtors, trustees and court-appointed officials. Stefaan Deckmyn has ‘in-depth knowledge of insolvency law’ and leads a team that includes banking specialist Marc Vermylen and newly made-up partner Kris De Schutter.

Among Lydian’s recent highlights, it advised Team Kalorik on its judicial reorganisation; Patrick della Faille led that work. Yves Lenders is also noted. Other clients include De Rouck Geomatics, Mensura and Prefarails.

At Monard Law, Youri Steverlynck and associate partner Pieter Van Den Broeck assisted with the acquisition of the Dutch and Belgian arms of distressed retail chain Charles Vögele. Inge De Haes, who was appointed as bankruptcy trustee of ADS Immo, is also a key contact.

Quinz is lauded for its ‘strong restructuring expertise’ and ‘unrivalled responsiveness’. Practice head Benoît Allemeersch, who is ‘well connected and solution oriented’, is jointly acting with KPMG as the liquidator of Holding Communal, a major shareholder in Dexia. The team also acts for creditors, debtors and acquirers of distressed assets. Bart Lintermans is ‘totally committed to his clients’.

Racine’s ‘responsive and hands-on’ team has ‘a leading reputation in the area’ and benefits from the ‘unrivalled combined practical experience’ of its lawyers. Stefaan Aerts is ‘a fierce advocate in court proceedings’ and led the firm’s appointment as liquidator of Temsa Europe. Joan Dubaere and Stijn Vanschoubroek co-head a team that recently welcomed the arrival of Anthony Van der Hauwaert from King & Wood Mallesons.

Strelia fields ‘a very capable’ restructuring practice under the leadership of the ‘knowledgeable, pragmatic and experienced’ Bart de Moor. Among its recent work, it is acting as liquidator in the bankruptcies of Photo Hall Multimedia and Lawfort. Distressed M&A and insolvency disputes are also areas of expertise.

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